Advice on selling a house by owner

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So my Mom and Dad bought a house back around 14 years ago, its a 4 Bedroom, 2 bath modular on a full poured and insulated basement. It is located on almost 10 acres, probably 2.5 acres of grass and the rest woods. Desirable property and its rare that something like that comes up for sale around here in the same price range, or any price range for that matter.

My Father passed away a few years ago and the size of the home and the amount of land is too much for just my mom to handle. I have found myself trying to maintain our place and hers and am not able to dedicate the time to do a good job on either one. Its time for her to downsize.

I already have several people interested in the house just from casual mentioning of it to coworkers and my moms neighbor (word spreads fast around here, and for some reason everyone just LOVES the idea of living "in the country" like it's some utopia, it's not trust me, we live "in the country" and it has afforded us the by far the worst neighbor we have ever had amongst other things so I'm a bit Jaded Lol.)

Anyway, we initially planned on listing it with a Realtor, I am also probably going to contact a local home builder/developer and see what his offer is, he would love to put some more homes on the land, I'm sure.
I am not opposed to using a realtor, although since a surprising number of people are already interested in the house I am questioning if we should just try to sell it by owner.

Honestly if the Home Builder/Developer guy makes an offer in the ballpark I would probably just sell it to him, quick, easy and done. Hes got the funds to buy and the resources to give the house the bit of TLC it could use to bring it to the next level and it would be an As-Is sale, no dealing with buyers picking apart silly stuff.

Anyone been in a similar situation and have any words of wisdom?
Don’t. A good realtor can screen potential buyers and weed out the chaff. That alone is worth what they charge. Been through it on a home sale being lied to,
drug along forever only to have to start over in a time sensitive situation that sucked….
 
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If you have a willing and able buyer lined up and you're happy with the price, it makes no sense to waste money on a RE agent. You can spend a few hundred on RE lawyer to look over the paperwork before settlement, but that's all you need.
A few hundred ? I wouldn't count on that . That Attorney is going to have to spend a little time researching that property . Taxes , liens , etc.
$350 / hr wouldn't be unheard of . Now , if you can get the buyer to pay for it ..
 

5AcresAndAFool

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What is your reason for possibly going the no-realtor route ? I'm guessing to avoid paying commission ? I respect that, just knowing the reason is important so people can understand.

Most buyers will have a realtor and you really can't control that so you'll still pay 50% of the normal commission.
Good question, mainly because I already have few interested parties just from word of mouth. I know one of them can actually buy it and the second party I feel is probably a good buyer, though I haven't gone that far yet with them.

When you have that kind of package around here it tends to sell quickly historically, even in a down market.
 
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A few hundred ? I wouldn't count on that . That Attorney is going to have to spend a little time researching that property . Taxes , liens , etc.
$350 / hr wouldn't be unheard of . Now , if you can get the buyer to pay for it ..
Why would YOUR side have to research the property? You already own it. The buyers title company checks for unpaid taxes, liens, etc..
 
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Why would YOUR side have to research the property? You already own it. The buyers title company checks for unpaid taxes, liens, etc..
As a Lawyer , would you sign off on a legal document and call it good just because somebody else said so ? You want him to " Look it over " . What is he looking for ? ANYTHING that can come back to bite you . Or him . He's going to charge more than a couple of hundred just to answer the phone .
 
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I’ve bought and sold investment property without an agent or lawyer. I read through the contract, double checked everything and the title company took care of the closing. Easy peezy but I had a buyer lined up when I sold so I didn’t need the exposure.

How much do you think the property will sell for? A good realtor can take a lot of hassle out of the process but you definitely pay for it. Most SF homebuilders aren’t buying land at the moment unless in a crazy hot market.
 

5AcresAndAFool

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How much do you think the property will sell for? A good realtor can take a lot of hassle out of the process but you definitely pay for it. Most SF homebuilders aren’t buying land at the moment unless in a crazy hot market.
We are looking to sell at the 260 to 300 price range. This home builder is selling homes quicker than he can build them and he hasn't slowed down yet. He likes properties where he can put 3 or 4 homes in because that's a different set of rules in this county as its not considered a subdivision.

This particular home will sell quickly I believe. My parents bought it during the great recession and there were 3 other offers, this when real estate was flat here.

I am going to have to decide which route to take here pretty quickly, I already have 1 preapproved interested and 2 unknowns interested, and this is just from casually mentioning to the neighbors and a few people we know there is a place on 9 acres going up for sale.

People here just LOOOOOOVE homes in the country. I was honestly one of those people at one point and while there can be benefits, I'm jaded now due to our repeated negative experiences living in the "country".

I have lived next to "undesirable" section 8 housing and in that particular instance they were good neighbors, though im sure we will here 50 stories where that was not the case, that however was my experience. I have lived in subdivisions, cities and a smaller town. By far the worst neighbor I have ever had is right here in the good 'ol "country". At least in town there is some expectation of living like law abiding, civilized people. Some people move to the countryside to have a larger property, peace ect.... some people move to the country because they are scumbags, and they can get away with a lot more out here.

I do realize some of this is the luck of the draw and just because you have good neighbors today doesn't mean you will have good neighbors a year from now.

Some may ask why we don't just move, well then, he would just be someone else's problem, and his behavior is really close to crossing the line of harassment, if it hasn't already. The veiled threats he posts from a fake account on social media is being documented, as is his behavior and other activities. He seems to have backed off some after we came very close to calling the law on him for aggressively riding his motorcycle behind my wife one day trying to intimidate her. She doesn't intimidate easily nor do I. (Coincidentally enough shortly after this incident he received a speeding ticket from a Sheriff's Deputy while on his motorcycle. It almost couldn't be a coincidence, it's almost like the local law enforcement are aware of this guy and are watching hmmmm........sometimes the police are not fond of a grown man bullying and intimidating a woman in child in a vehicle alone and even if they can't get him on that because it's he said, she said, they can look out for him and since he's a criminal he has a propensity to break the law therefore if they happen to spot him he is likely breaking one or more laws thus it's easy to write a ticket. No warnings either.....Hmm.....Usullaly they give warnings around here. Wonder why he didn't get a warning? Just one big coincidence, crazy.)

I do believe he poisoned our dog, I believe I may have found physical evidence of it, though likely I will never be able to prove it was him. Luckily the dog is ok now (after $$$ vet bills).

I honestly believe we are dealing with a man that has serious mental health issues, I actually feel bad that he has presumably chosen to go thru life being nasty and miserable, or maybe it's due to mental issues that he acts the way he does.

Oh the stories of this miserable man I could tell, I could write a book!
 
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We are looking to sell at the 260 to 300 price range. This home builder is selling homes quicker than he can build them and he hasn't slowed down yet. He likes properties where he can put 3 or 4 homes in because that's a different set of rules in this county as its not considered a subdivision.

This particular home will sell quickly I believe. My parents bought it during the great recession and there were 3 other offers, this when real estate was flat here.

I am going to have to decide which route to take here pretty quickly, I already have 1 preapproved interested and 2 unknowns interested, and this is just from casually mentioning to the neighbors and a few people we know there is a place on 9 acres going up for sale.

People here just LOOOOOOVE homes in the country. I was honestly one of those people at one point and while there can be benefits, I'm jaded now due to our repeated negative experiences living in the "country".

I have lived next to "undesirable" section 8 housing and in that particular instance they were good neighbors, though im sure we will here 50 stories where that was not the case, that however was my experience. I have lived in subdivisions, cities and a smaller town. By far the worst neighbor I have ever had is right here in the good 'ol "country". At least in town there is some expectation of living like law abiding, civilized people. Some people move to the countryside to have a larger property, peace ect.... some people move to the country because they are scumbags, and they can get away with a lot more out here.
It seems like you have friendly, legitimate buyers lined up. If you are honest with what you know about the place, tell the buyer everything, negotiate a price, and then both of you can go to RE lawyer and have them write up an agreement, do the title search, and whatever else needs to be done to finalize the sale in your state so no one gets screwed. 4-5 hours of their time is a lot less than 6% of the sale.

In my experience, for relatively simple transactions with reasonable people, you can use the same lawyer and save everyone some significant money and time. We had an entrance issue with the estate of my late neighbor, but had a small survey done and we both used the same local reputable RE lawyer. A couple billing hours with him got it straightened out without much cost or hassle.

We also bought our property without our own real-estate agent as we didn't really need one to go walk properties we were interested in. We just used the sellers agent, as he had a good name and lots of experience, and was willing to reduce the commission as he wasn't splitting it with another agent. He was pretty fair I think, and told us how long the property had been for sale(almost a year), and that we should make an offer below asking and we did. We still needed a lawyer to do the title search though.

I guess if you have a few interested parties, then going with your own realtor to manage a bidding war could easily get you more money for the place even with his cut. Managing offers and counter offers yourself from individuals and real-estate agents probably isn't for a novice.
 
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It sounds like you have an emotional vestment in the property. (You're thinking the neighbor's a jerk.) This is a terrible place to negotiate from, a good realtor will help you with this.

Don't think that an "as-is" sale to a pro will go any smoother than one to a private party. Pros are sharks and can and will sue you over dumb stuff just to shake you down for a settlement after the closing.

I'm buying a camp in Northern Maine from a hippie who advertised it on craigslist. I'm lawyered up. He's incompetent. If you look around the room at closing and can't find the idiot (naive party), it's you.

As for the realtor, though, they don't all charge six percent. If your market's hot they'll work for less if you twist their arms.
 
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5AcresAndAFool

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It sounds like you have an emotional vestment in the property. (You're thinking the neighbor's a jerk.) This is a terrible place to negotiate from, a good realtor will help you with this.
The neighbors at my mom's place are great, it's our neighbor that is a jerk. My diatribe was more directed to why living in the country isn't all that great.

We thought about buying her place and moving there, but its a lot further away from town and such and its more expensive and more maintenance than we want right now.
 
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The neighbors at my mom's place are great, it's our neighbor that is a jerk. My diatribe was more directed to why living in the country isn't all that great.
My point stands, this isn't the house for you, but an independent party would better be able to find who it's perfect for.
 
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OP:

You mentioned you were looking to sell in the “$260,000 to $300,000” range.

Did you ever get an independent appraisal on the house and a separate appraisal on the land? Not a “this is what a realtor said they could sell it for” verbal appraisal.
 

GON

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Having just went through a FSBO and the deal fell through, I find more money may very well come your way if you pay a TOP SHELF realtor. Just like auto mechanics, not all realtors are the same.

If it was me, I would not do a FSBO. Instead, I would spend weeks searching down the very best realtor. Speculation is you will end up with more net proceeds paying a top shelf realtor, than a FSBO. If the home was a cookie cutter home in a subdivision, maybe not. Your parents' home is custom/ unique. Very hard to even get a proper appraisal.
 
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If you want it on the MLS go with a flat fee listing and do the showings yourself. I've done it, and would do it again.
Most buyers have an agent who is busy looking for a house for their client. They look in MLS and Realtor.com. Not Zillow.

There are MLS agents that will list it for you for a few hundred dollars. Then you do all the work.

Forget about Zillow. Real estate agents don't look on Zillow. People may look at Zillow.
 

5AcresAndAFool

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OP:

You mentioned you were looking to sell in the “$260,000 to $300,000” range.

Did you ever get an independent appraisal on the house and a separate appraisal on the land? Not a “this is what a realtor said they could sell it for” verbal appraisal.
Yes earlier this year. Although we realize that the market has gone down since then.

The land is not all buildable, however you could still easily put 2 to 3 more houses on it, 4 or 5 if you did some serious work with a bulldozer.
 
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My FSBO sales went well, were troublefree and easy. I used our lawyer to handle the transaction. I listed the homes at the going rate, not lower, not higher. And did not negotiate on the price.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The pushback I get from realtors and friends of realtors is stunning. But the fact remains, my transactions were easy and fast.
 

GON

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My FSBO sales went well, were troublefree and easy. I used our lawyer to handle the transaction. I listed the homes at the going rate, not lower, not higher. And did not negotiate on the price.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The pushback I get from realtors and friends of realtors is stunning. But the fact remains, my transactions were easy and fast.
Cujet,

The issue is- you knew the going rate..on the op property, he does not know the going rate. I suspect three appraisers will come up with three very different appraisals.

And if the op sells, what is he going to do support the selling price to the appraiser. A selling broker can and will do that.

Home is a subdivision with high turnover of homes, fsbo can work. A custom home in acreage, lots of reasons a top shelf selling broker can bring in more net funds at closing than a fsbo. Maybe a lot more.
 
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